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  Celebrating 50 years

For 50 years BRANZ research, testing and consulting has quietly made a big difference to New Zealand's constantly changing built environment. 

The next 50 will bring greater challenges with increasing demographic, social and environmental pressures as well as technical complexity. 

BRANZ will continue to use its energy, passion and expertise to co-create enduring solutions that will, over time, transform the way the built environment and sector perform. We are committed to making a difference for all New Zealanders.


Here's a snapshot of BRANZ over the decades 

 

1970 - 1979 Strong platform for building research

  • Newly formed BRANZ works in partnership with government to lead research into improved building techniques and materials.
  • It includes an advisory service and a research facility purpose built to conduct not previously available testing.
  Key milestones:
- Purpose-built fire research and testing laboratory developed at Judgeford site - 1973
- First BRANZ appraisal is issued for a building strap tensioner - 1974
- First research report published: Insulation requirements in the New Zealand Building Code - 1977
 
 

 1980 - 1989 Sharpening profile and services

  • High inflation in the early 80s means a demand to build more efficiently, and BRANZ's research is more important than ever.
  • The government-led review of building controls is a chance to share BRANZ's expertise and inform real change.
  • BRANZ has its eye on the technological landscape, computerising its library, allowing industry direct access to a wealth of research and information.
Key milestones:
- The first Annual Loss Factor (ALF) tool is published - 1980
- The library's catalogue is computerised giving access to external audiences - 1986
- Structural engineering lab opens - 1988
 
 

1990 - 1999 Stronger customer focus 

  • The 90s see BRANZ focusing on meeting the needs of the industry and increased interest from homeowners.
  • A new website, freephone helpline and an accredited advisors scheme are launched.
  • Access to information through print and electronic media provide quality advice service for an increasingly high-tech and sophisticated industry.
Key milestones:
-
First edition of Build magazine publication - 1990
- First
House Condition Survey completed - 1994
- The
Good Practice Guide series launches - 1997

 

2000 - 2009 Navigating change

  • Weathertightness research begins in response to industry requirements.
  • Research extends to energy efficiency and environmentally friendly materials and practices.
  • With a rapid increase in web traffic and e-commerce, improving the website and knowledge sharing becomes a stronger focus.
Key milestones:
                - Results from a 10-year BRANZ study of corrosion rates of steel, galvanised steel and aluminium at
  181 sites around New Zealand form the basis of a 'corrosion map' - 2000
                - Weathertightness and cavity test building constructed on site - 2003/4
                - HEEP (Household Energy End-use Project) data collection is completed, providing data of energy
  use for an entire sector - 2005
  

2010 - 2019 Sharing knowledge

  • BRANZ proactively anticipates industry needs and a changing business landscape.
  • Shift to industry need-based research programmes rather than individual research projects, and develops a mobile app for building inspections for use by local councils.
Key milestones:
- Following the Canterbury earthquakes, BRANZ helps with building assessments, ensuring they are
  safe for occupants - 2010-13
- The Building Better Homes, Towns and Cities National Science Challenge launches - 2016
- BRANZ launches the Artisan app - 2019